DC Metro returns to normal after Concert for Valor

DC Metro returns to normal after Concert for Valor

Washington's Metrorail subway system returned to normal on Wednesday after shuttering one of its six rail lines during a Veterans Day music event that drew hundreds of thousands of people to the National Mall. 

As many as 800,000 people were expected to descend on the mall for HBO’s Concert for Valor, which would be roughly the same number of people who attended President Obama’s second inauguration in 2013. 

The concert, which was free and broadcasted live, featured performances from artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna and Eminem. 

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said its passenger traffic was 16 percent higher by the start of the star-studded concert than it was at the same time on Veterans Day in 2013. 

“As of 7pm about 394k trips taken on Metrorail (about 54k or 16% higher than same time last Veterans Day),” the agency tweeted

The transit agency suspended service on its Blue Line  to boost service on other lines in anticipation of the Concert for Valor crowds. 

The elimination of trains on the Blue line galled Metro passengers who have already endured service cuts earlier this year to make for the agency’s new Silver Line that was opened in July. 

“Unfortunate that almost every time @wmata requires "extraordinary response" that response is imposed solely on Blue riders,” a group called “Save the Blue Line” that was formed in response to the earlier service cuts tweeted

Metro said it was confident its Concert for Valor service plan was effective enough to abandon an earlier plan to keep multiple stations open later than its usual midnight closing time on Tuesday. 

“#TheConcertForValor crowds have been accommodated. No lines at most stations. As a result, Metro will close all stations at midnight,” the agency tweeted after the HBO broadcast was over.